Militants in the Central African Republic killed at least 42 people who were traveling in a truck in the country’s center, a regional Red Cross official said.
Gunmen forced the vehicle to stop by shooting at its tires when it entered a village in the Bambari region, about 365 kilometers (227 miles) northeast of Bangui, the capital, Bernard Bapou, regional secretary for the Red Cross, said by phone on Tuesday, citing the only passenger who survived.
The organization later found 42 bodies, including eight women and six children, in the village inhabited by Seleka rebels, who overthrew President Francois Bozize about two years ago, according to Bapou. Reached by phone, Ali Ndaras, a Seleka general in Bambari, blamed so-called anti-Balaka militants he said were on board the truck and fired at his men.
The Central African Republic has been gripped by lawlessness since an alliance of mainly Muslim anti-government militias ousted Bozize in March 2013. The takeover was marked by the widespread killing of civilians.